Rob Dauster

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NCAA asks US Supreme Court to hear O’Bannon case

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The NCAA is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the so-called O’Bannon case that successfully challenged the association’s use of names, images and likenesses of college athletes without compensation.

The plaintiffs in the case, which was originally filed by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, petitioned the Supreme Court in March to hear the case. The NCAA also filed an opposition Friday to the plaintiff’s filing.

In 2014, a U.S. district judge decided NCAA’s amateurism rules violated antitrust law. Judge Claudia Wilken ruled schools could – but were not required to – pay football and men’s basketball players up to $5,000 per year for use of their names, images and likenesses. The money would go into a trust and be available to the athletes after leaving college. Wilken also ruled schools could increase the value of the athletic scholarship to meet the federal cost of attendance figure for each institution.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year overturned Wilkens’ ruling on the NIL payments of $5,000, but left the NCAA’s amateurism rules vulnerable to more legal challenges. There are two other antitrust lawsuits against the NCAA working their way through the courts that challenge schools’ rights to cap compensation for athletes at the cost of a scholarship. Those suits could be far more damaging to the current system of college athletics and lead to athletes’ compensation being determined on the open market.

The NCAA wants the Supreme Court to reaffirm its 1984 ruling in Oklahoma v. Board of Regents that protected amateurism.

“For different reasons, both the NCAA and Ed O’Bannon believe the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals used the wrong tests to analyze the NCAA rules,” NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement Friday. “The NCAA asked the Supreme Court to hear the case to obtain unquestionable clarity on key issues of law affecting the NCAA and other similar organizations. In short, we are asking the Supreme Court to reaffirm its antitrust holding in the Board of Regents case, endorse the 9th Circuit’s affirmation of amateurism, and define the appropriate scope of the First Amendment. We believe the Supreme Court can conduct this review properly and dictate the appropriate tests by accepting the questions we have presented and rejecting those presented by O’Bannon.”

Alabama lands former top 50 recruit

Avery Johnson
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)
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Alabama has landed a former top 50 recruit, as Daniel Giddens announced on Sunday that he will be transferring into the program to finish his collegiate career.

“After much thought and prayer, I have decided to attend The University of Alabama,” Giddens wrote on twitter.

Giddens averaged 3.8 points, 3.6 boards and 1.5 blocks in just over 18 minutes as a freshman with Ohio State this past season before opting to leave the program.

As a senior in high school, Giddens was the No. 51 recruit in the country, according to Rivals. He played for Oak Hill Academy as a senior and was a part of the same AAU program that sent Ben Simmons and Antonio Blakeney to LSU.

He’ll have to sit out the 2016-17 season, but he will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017-18.

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo to sign with agent, remain in NBA Draft

Kansas' Cheick Diallo gets past UC Irvine's Ioannis Dimakopoulos (12) to dunk the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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Former Kansas forward Cheick Diallo will remain in the NBA Draft and sign with an agent.

A top ten recruit before he enrolled at Kansas, Diallo ran into some issues with the NCAA Clearinghouse before he was allowed to suit up for the Jayhawks. He eventually missed five games and, as he told multiple outlets this weekend in Chicago, essentially missed “three or four months”.

“I came late and I was behind everybody. There was nothing I can do, nothing to help the team. It was too late,” Diallo told The Sporting News. “So I said, ‘You know what? I am going to keep working hard and my time will come.’ It was not coach’s fault I was not playing. It was not my fault I was not playing. Because I came late. It was the NCAA’s fault.”

Diallo, who will reportedly sign with Bill Duffy, ended up averaging just 3.0 points as a result, meaning he wasn’t necessarily expected to be a first round pick. That was before he was one of the most impressive performers at this year’s NBA Draft Combine, which really shouldn’t have come as all that much of a surprise.

The setting isn’t all that different from the high school all-star games where Diallo won MVP trophies. The competition level is, obviously, much higher, but this was not a situation where we’re looking at team-oriented defenses and complex offensive sets. Diallo’s biggest strength is his motor. He plays hard, he runs the floor hard, he attacks the glass hard, and all of that shines through in that setting. Throw in the fact that he can be a rim-protector with his 7-foot-4.5 wingspan, and there’s a good chance he’ll end up getting picked in the mid-to-late first round as teams look to land the next Bismack Biyombo, if you will.

ACC: LGBT law could affect whether NC hosts league events

Protesters rally against House Bill 2 in Raleigh, N.C.,  Monday, April 25, 2016. While demonstrations circled North Carolina's statehouse on Monday, for and against a Republican-backed law curtailing protections for LGBT people and limiting public bathroom access for transgender people, House Democrats filed a repeal bill that stands little chance of passing. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP)

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. (AP) A North Carolina law that critics say can allow discrimination against members of the LGBT community could impact whether the state hosts Atlantic Coast Conference championship events.

In a statement Thursday, the ACC says member schools discussed the law during annual spring meetings. Signed in March, the law prevents local governments from passing their own anti-discrimination rules covering the use of public accommodations, a response to Charlotte leaders approving a measure allowing transgender people to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity.

The North Carolina-headquartered ACC says “discrimination in any form has no place in higher education and college athletics.” The statement comes roughly two weeks after the NCAA Board of Governors adopted an anti-discrimination measure in its process for evaluating bids to host sporting events.

Similar to that announcement, the ACC says it will require commitments from current championship sites “to provide safe and inclusive environments.”

“The membership strongly supports the league continuing to engage at the highest levels regarding the effects of this law on its constituents as it evaluates current and future events and championships within the state of North Carolina,” the statement says.

The ACC has deep roots in North Carolina. The league has held 51 of 63 men’s basketball tournaments in the state and returns in 2019 after a two-year stay in Brooklyn, New York. The league has long held its women’s basketball tournament in Greensboro, while the last six football championship games have been in Charlotte.

The law also has led to a public and business backlash. The NBA could move the 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte. Performers from Bruce Springsteen to Pearl Jam have canceled shows out of protest, and Paypal called off plans to create an operations center in Charlotte that would have employed 400 people.

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department warned the law violates civil rights protections against sex discrimination on the job and in education for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Faced with a Monday deadline to report whether he would refuse to enforce the law, Gov. Pat McCrory instead filed a lawsuit seeking to keep the law in place. The Justice Department responded by suing North Carolina hours later.

Butler fills assistant coaching void with hire of Schrage

Chris Holtmann
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Butler coach Chris Holtmann hired Mike Schrage as his new assistant Thursday.

Schrage spent the past eight seasons as an assistant at Stanford. The Cardinal won two NIT titles, earned five postseason bids and reached the NCAA tournament’s regional semifinals once during Schrage’s tenure.

He spent the previous six seasons as Duke’s director of basketball operations and his first three seasons at Duke as the academic and recruiting coordinator. He was part of the Blue Devils’ 2001 national championship team.

Schrage replaces Michael Lewis, the former Indiana star who was hired by Nebraska last week.

Schrage was a student manager at Indiana from 1994-98 when Bob Knight was the coach. After graduating, Schrage spent one season as an administrative assistant at Mississippi before he was hired at Duke.

Arizona lands commitment from UNC Asheville transfer

UNC Asheville guard Dylan Smith, center, drives against Villanova guard Ryan Arcidiacono (15) during the first half of a first-round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 18, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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Arizona has landed a commitment from UNC Asheville transfer Dylan Smith, the point guard announced on twitter on Wednesday night.

“I’m blessed and proud to announce I am committed to the University of Arizona!” Smith wrote.

Smith is a freshman wing that averaged 13.5 points this past season for Asheville. He’ll have to sit out the 2016-17 season but he’ll have three seasons of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2017-18 season.

At 6-foot-5, Smith is a wafer-thin wing that will do himself good sitting out for a season as he puts on weight. An Alabama native that was at one time committed to Texas-Pan American, Smith will spend the upcoming season as a practice player going up against Arizona’s ridiculous number of talented wings: Allonzo Trier, Terrence Ferguson, Ray Smith, Rawle Alkins. Playing time would be tough for him to find this season even if he was eligible.

Smith is the fourth Asheville player in recent years to transfer out of the program and to a high-major school. Keith Hornsby left for LSU prior to the 2013-14 season, Andrew Rowsey transferred to Marquette after the 2014-15 season and, this offseason, the Bulldogs lost Smith and Dwayne Sutton to Louisville.